California & Homosexual “Marriage”

Here is a link to the online article I have reproduced below. We, in California will be voting on this issue in November.
But it is of interest for everyone. I thought this was an excellent well- thought out article. 
The National Catholic RegisterCOMMENTARY

Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ and the Persecution of Civil Society


June 8-14, 2008 Issue | Posted 6/3/08 at 10:48 AM

Advocates of same-sex “marriage” present the idea as a step forward for tolerance and respect. But recent developments place that interpretation very much in doubt.

Legalizing same-sex “marriage” is not a stand-alone policy, independent of all the other activities of the state. Once governments assert that same-sex unions are the equivalent of marriage, those governments must defend and enforce a whole host of other social changes.

Unfortunately, these government-enforced changes conflict with a wide array of ordinary liberties, including religious freedom and ordinary private property rights.

It began with the persecution of Catholic Charities in Boston. The archdiocese eventually closed down its adoption program, because the state of Massachusetts insisted that every adoption agency in the state must allow same-sex couples to adopt.

Recently, a Methodist organization in New Jersey lost part of its tax-exempt status because it refused to allow two lesbian couples to use their facility for a civil union ceremony. In Quebec, a Mennonite school was informed that it must conform to the official provincial curriculum, which includes teaching homosexuality as an acceptable alternative lifestyle.

At last report, the Mennonites were considering leaving the province rather than permit the imposition of the state-sponsored curriculum on their children.

And recently, a wedding photographer in New Mexico faces a hearing with the state’s Human Rights Commission because she declined the business of a lesbian couple. She didn’t want to take photos of their commitment ceremony.

The underlying pattern is unmistakable. Legalizing same-sex “marriage” has brought in its wake state regulation of other parts of society. The problem is sometimes presented as an issue of religious freedom, and so, in part, it is. But the issue runs deeper than religious freedom.

McGill University professor Douglas Farrow argues in his book A Nation of Bastards that redefining marriage allows the government to colonize all of civil society.

If same-sex couples can marry each other, they should be allowed to adopt. Anyone who says otherwise is acting against the policy of the state. If same-sex couples can have civil unions, then denying them the use of any facility they want for their ceremony amounts to unlawful discrimination. When the state says that same sex couples are equivalent to opposite-sex couples, school curriculum will inevitably have to support this claim.

Marriage between men and women is a pre-political, naturally emerging social institution. Men and women come together to create children, independently of any government. The duty of caring for those children exists even without a government or any political order.

Marriage protects children as well as the interests of each parent in their common project of raising those children.

Because marriage is an organic part of civil society, it is robust enough to sustain itself, with minimal assistance from the state.

By contrast, same-sex “marriage” is completely a creation of the state.

Same-sex couples cannot have children. Someone must give them a child or at least half the genetic material to create a child. The state must detach the parental rights of the opposite-sex parent and then attach those rights to the second parent of the same-sex couple.

The state must create parentage for the same-sex couple. For the opposite-sex couple, the state merely recognizes parentage.

In her essay in The Meaning of Marriage, Seana Sugrue argues that the state must coddle and protect same-sex “marriage” in ways that opposite-sex marriage does not require.

Precisely because same-sex unions are not the same as opposite-sex marriage, the state must intervene to make people believe (or at least make them act as if they believe) that the two types of unions are equivalent.

Public schools in California are soon going to be required to be “gay friendly.” A doctor has been sued because she didn’t want to perform an artificial insemination on a lesbian couple. A private school is in trouble for disciplining two female students for kissing. All in the name of supporting the rights of same-sex couples to “equality” with straight couples.

The fact that opposite- and same-sex couples are different in significant ways means that there will always be scope for the state to expand its reach into more and more private areas of more and more people’s lives.

Perhaps some people think it is okay to shut down Catholic adoption agencies, because the Catholics have it coming to them: The Church’s enemies are many. Perhaps some people don’t care for Methodists, and don’t care whether they lose their tax-exempt status.

But the Mennonites? These are the most inoffensive people on the planet. They have been pacifists for centuries. Their continued existence here in North America is a testimony to the strength of our ideals of religious tolerance and pluralism, in all the best senses of those terms. But now, in the name of equality of same-sex couples, the Mennonites are being driven out of Quebec.

Perhaps you think people have a natural civil right to marry the person of their choosing. But can you really force yourself to believe that wedding photography is a civil right?

Maybe you believe that same-sex couples are entitled to have children, somehow. But is any doctor they might encounter required to inseminate them?

Advocates of same-sex “marriage” insist that theirs is a modest reform: a mere expansion of marriage to include people currently excluded. But the price of same-sex “marriage” is a reduction in tolerance for everyone else, and an expansion of the power of the state.

Jennifer Roback Morse is the senior fellow in economics at the Acton

Institute and the author of Love and Economics:
It Takes a Family to Raise a Village, newly reissued in paperback.

9 Responses

  1. There were a number of non-sequiturs and logical fallicies and inaccuracies in this post. Let me just focus on one, however:

    “If same-sex couples can marry each other, they should be allowed to adopt.”

    Currently, all but a couple of states allow gay people to adopt. I know at least 10 gay couples who are raising kids, either through adoption or from previous marriages or because the birth parents died and indicated they wanted their (gay) sibling to raise their child.

    None of the gay couples lives in a state where same-sex marriage or even civil unions are recognized. The two circumstances are basically unrelated in terms of the law.

  2. You need to check your facts before you post something like this. Many of the cases you site are completely fallacious.

    This website does a nice job correcting the inaccuracies regarding gay marriage that have been circulating amongst religious communities lately:

    The following will debunk the statements made on adoption in MA, tax exempt land in NJ and teaching gay marriage in CA.

    Children in public schools will have to be taught that same-sex marriage is just as good as traditional marriage . The California Education Code (§51890) already requires that health education classes instruct children about marriage. Therefore, unless Proposition 8 passes, children will be taught that marriage is a relation between any two adults regardless of gender. There will be serious clashes between the secular school system and the right of parents to teach their children their own values and beliefs.

    The Education Code cited specifically states school districts will teach “family health and child development, including the legal and financial aspects and responsibilities of marriage and parenthood.” It also requires that each school community – parents, community and teachers actively develop, plan, approve and implement the curriculum.

    Another section of the education code (Sec. 51933) specifically addresses Comprehensive Sexual Health Education and HIV/AIDS Prevention. This section says school districts may provide age-appropriate instruction, K-12th grade. If districts elect to offer such courses, they have to meet several criteria, including:

    [1] Instruction and materials shall be age appropriate.

    [2] All factual information presented shall be medically accurate and objective.

    [4] Instruction and materials shall be appropriate for use with pupils of all races, genders, sexual orientations, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and pupils with disabilities.

    [6] Instruction and materials shall encourage a pupil to communicate with his or her parents or guardians about human sexuality.

    [7] Instruction and materials shall teach respect for marriage and committed relationships.

    Finally, the section on sexual health education ends by saying, “This article shall not apply to an educational institution that is controlled by a religious organization if the application would not be consistent with the religious tenets of that organization.”

    Since parents must already navigate the waters of health and sex education in schools which teach respect for “committed relationships,” and which teach ideals that may be different from ideals in many LDS homes, adding one more item to the list of things that are different about “The World,” should not be an overburdensome problem to a people that prides itself on being “in the world, but not of the world” or, just plain, “peculiar.”

    Churches will be sued over their tax-exempt status if they refuse to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies in their religious buildings open to the public. While pastors, priests, ministers, bishops, and rabbis may not be forced to conduct such marriages themselves, they will be required to allow such marriages in their chapels and sanctuaries.

    This argument stems from a legal case in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association (OGCMA), a Methodist organization that owns all of the property in Ocean Grove.

    A lesbian couple wanted to rent the Ocean Grove Boardwalk Pavilion to celebrate their civil union. The Ocean Grove boardwalk pavilion, however, has been used as a public space for decades. Bands play there. Children skateboard through it. Tourists enjoy the shade. It’s even been used for debates and Civil War re-enactments. The OGCMA considers the public pavilion part of its church.

    The New Jersey Supreme Court found that the OGCMA’s decision is in direct defiance of recent New Jersey state legislation and a New Jersey Supreme Court ruling recognizing same-sex couples and granting legal status to civil unions. Further, given the multiple civic and religious uses of the pavilion, the space is considered a place of public accommodation under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. In accordance with the law, same-sex couples are entitled to use the pavilion for civil union ceremonies.

    In the case of LDS marriages, church buildings, and especially temples, are not generally available to the public. Since these buildings are not public places, they do not fall under the jurisdiction of California courts the same way the property in New Jersey did. Now, if churches start using their property for Civil War Re-enactments or band concerts or skateboarding, perhaps courts will take a second look at their property usage.

    Assuming a same-sex couple would want to get married in a building that was owned by an organization hostile to same-sex marriages, the couple would have to prove that the building was a public place, that others were allowed to use it, and that they were being discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. Courts have not yet ruled on this, so the law is unclear at this point.

    California’s constitution and laws already make discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation illegal, and the changes proposed by Proposition 8 would make no difference there. So even if Proposition 8 does pass, a same-sex couple wanting to hold a commitment ceremony to acknowledge is domestic partnership registry, for example, could bring a lawsuit against a church that denied access to them yet allowed access to other couples based on laws already on California’s books.

    Churches that don’t rent out their halls or sanctuaries (or temples) to the public will not be creating public spaces and would not have to comply with existing public accommodations laws.

    Obviously, no church can be forced to perform a marriage. Mormons can’t even be forced to perform temple marriages for non-worthy members. If churches could be forced to perform civil marriages, that would be an intrusion of the government onto a religious group and contrary to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

    Religious adoption agencies will be challenged by government agencies to give up their long-held right to place children only in homes with both a mother and a father. Catholic Charities in Boston already closed its doors in Massachusetts because courts legalized same-sex marriage there.

    Gay adoption is already legal in California. When Massachusetts passed its gay marriage laws, same-sex couples did not already have that privilege or responsibility. Catholic Charities of Boston decided to stop performing adoptions rather than try to work out the immense complexities of complying with both Catholic church doctrine and the new Massachusetts laws.

    Gay couples in California have the right to (and regularly do) adopt children, and Catholic Charities ended its adoption placement program in San Francisco in August, 2006 in response to a Vatican request that the church not be involved in placing children with homosexual parents. The agency still helps prospective adoptive parents, including gays and lesbians, with information and referral help through an alliance with another organization (Family Builders). It does not do formal home placement visits any longer. In May 2007, Family Builders began advertising for homosexual parents to adopt children because of the great need for adoptive families in the region. Family Builders continues to receive support from Catholic Charities.

    Changing California’s Constitution by removing the right of homosexuals to marry will not make a difference in the Catholic Charities’ position on adoption, and it will not remove the ability of homosexuals to adopt children. Proposition 8—pass or fail—will not change California’s adoption laws, or increase the potential for lawsuits against adoption agencies [religious or secular] that violate state law by discriminating against prospective parents solely on the basis of sexual orientation.

    In the case of LDS Family Services, it already discriminates on adoption placement by requiring adoptive parents to be temple worthy and sealed, so for LDS adoptions, this does not make a difference.

    There is a lot of information regarding the cases you mentioned in favor of Proposition 8, I suggest you research the whole story regarding each before making misleading claims. I copied and pasted a few points of interest from the website I mentioned previously.

  3. So bigotry will no longer be legally defensible… and that is the focus of your complaint? What is next- we have to teach racial mixing is acceptable even though it violates purity? Too bad that you made the same arguments those racists did AND have the same fallacies. But maybe if you wish very hard sexual orientation will be relevant for allowing people to marry… while things like smoking, education level or other factors that affect kids won’t.

  4. The reason a man cannot marry a man is actually the same as the reason he cannot marry a sheep. It goes against nature.

  5. “The reason a man cannot marry a man is actually the same as the reason he cannot marry a sheep. It goes against nature.”

    Than why on Earth are you on a computer? Why should what nature wants matter at all? If it was up to nature we’d all be dead by 40.

  6. Are you saying a man should be able to marry a sheep?

  7. “Are you saying a man should be able to marry a sheep?”

    Nope. Marriage is a legal contract and sheep can’t sign documents.

  8. Be fruitful and multiply. Marriage has been understood as the covenant physical relationship
    that naturally produces human ‘fruit’. Rather than change the meaning of an ancient term, why don’t we just call it what it is?

  9. “Be fruitful and multiply.”

    God, I hope you don’t mean that. Where the heck are we going to get enough oil to support 12 billion people, much less metal, food, energy and other goods? While science can raise the carrying capacity, increasing faster than we can implement change is a blueprint for disaster. China uses oil like the most efficient European state and we will need 3 more Saudi Arabias. I think we all agree one Saudi Arabia is hard enough to handle:)

    “Marriage has been understood as the covenant physical relationship that naturally produces human ‘fruit’.”

    Which is why sterile individuals cannot get married. Or polyandrony occurs occasionally in history.

    “Rather than change the meaning of an ancient term, why don’t we just call it what it is?””

    Because tradition is not a defense for depriving individuals of legal equality.

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